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Associated Press

Holy Fire Ceremony in Jerusalem Draws Thousands


JERUSALEM (AP) — Thousands of Christians gathered in Jerusalem on Saturday for an ancient fire ceremony that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus.

In a ritual dating back at least 1,200 years, they crowded into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Christian tradition holds that Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.

During the annual ceremony, top Eastern Orthodox clerics enter the Edicule, the small chamber marking the site of Jesus’ tomb.

They then emerge to reveal candles said to be miraculously lit with “holy fire” as a message to the faithful from heaven. The details of the flame’s source are a closely guarded secret.

Orthodox Christians will celebrate Easter on Sunday.

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